Five Ways to Build Resilience

There is no one-fits-all strategy for building resilience. Each person must develop what works best for them at any given time, based on their unique circumstances, history and goals to move forward. But we can learn from eachother’s experiences and share ideas, because at some point in life we have or will experience a crisis of meaning. These are some ideas on how to build resilience to move forward from it.

Stay connected

Close relationships with family members, friends or others are critical to resilience. There is a balance to strike in allowing yourself to unplug and recharge in solitude and motivating yourself to connect with loved ones. Receiving support from those who will listen increase resilience, but any negative energy or conflict can create a setback. It helps if those you surround yourself with are aware of your fragile state and can help to reenergize instead of draining your energy. Only you know how to strike the balance. Some people find that being active in volunteer work or faith-based groups provides social and emotional support and can help with resurrecting hope. Helping others also can benefit the provider, but it can also hurt to help.

Avoid flight, fight, freeze mode

Accept that when building resilience, situations may appear worse or as if they are attacks on your sense of self. Avoid seeing situations as insurmountable problems. Ask someone you trust, even a counselor, to help you process situations. A third party neutral to the scenario can help give an unemotional perspective. You can’t control the highly stressful event, but you can control how you react. Try to allow time to pass and take stock on how situations are improving.

Accept the things you cannot change

Change is a part of life. Certain expectations or goals may not be achievable due to adversity. The timing may not be going as planned. Accepting circumstances that cannot change can help you control the small things that you can, like perspective.

Move toward your goals

Develop SMART goals — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive. Have small wins. Hang your goals in the shower in a plastic sleeve that you can start the day reading. Do something small to move toward your goals. Instead of focusing on tasks that are difficult to start, ask, “What is one thing that will help me move in the right direction?”

Practice Self-Care

Focus on your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you find relaxing. Exercise regularly. Meditate. Sleep. Eat healthy. Drink water. Walk in resilience. This will keep your mind and body ready to handle circumstances that require resilience.

These are just five things to keep in mind. But overall, the key is to identify ways that are personal to you to build resilience.